E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Epilobium luteum Pursh
yellow willowherb
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Province of British Columbia (Bill Jex)  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #3245)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Epilobium luteum
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from widespread rhizomes, sometimes with basal winter bulblets, stolons short and leafy or compact; stems erect, 15-75 cm tall, simple or branched above, glabrous or short stiff-hairy in lines.
Mostly opposite, spoon- to egg-shaped, 2.5-8 cm long, 1.2-3.5 cm wide, glandular-toothed, sharp-pointed, glabrous except for the (usually) minutely-hairy margins and midrib; stalks 1-3 mm long.
Inflorescence of 2 to 10 flowers in upper leaf axils, nodding in bud, densely glandular and short stiff-hairy; hypanthium cup-shaped, 1.2-3 mm long; petals shallowly heart-shaped,12-22 mm long, yellow or cream, wavy-margined, notched at tip; sepals linear-lanceolate,10-12 mm long, densely glandular; anthers 2.2-3 mm long; ovaries 2-3.5 cm long, densely glandular; styles usually noticeably longer than petals; stigmas 4-lobed, the lobes 2 mm long, oblong egg-shaped.
Capsules, erect, linear, 4-8 cm long, glandular-hairy; stalks 10-22 mm long, glandular- and minutely-hairy; seeds 1-1.2 mm long, netted, tuft of hairs rust-colored, 6.5-8 mm long, persisting.
Hybrids occur rarely between this species and others in BC. They resemble E. luteum with pink petals greater than 1 cm long. Hybrids between E. luteum and E. ciliatum ssp. glandulosum have been called E. x treleasianum Lev.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist streambanks, springs, seepage areas, meadows and forest openings in the montane and subalpine zones; infrequent in S and W BC, rare northward; N to AK, E to SW AB and S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Epilobium luteum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 747 1448 1950
Slope Gradient (%) 0 9 34
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
12 279 335
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(1), ESSF(13), ICH(1), IDF(2), MH(4), MS(3), SWB(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Epilobium treleaseanum Levl. p.p.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References